The Hawke's Bay netball community have been left feeling shocked and saddened by the death of lifetime member Yvonne Gardiner.
Aged 72, she passed unexpectedly in her sleep at her home, next to her husband of 52 years and "love of her life" Colin, over the weekend.
Netball has been a big part of her life since she first started playing at Marewa Primary School in 1959.
From playing in representative teams for the Hawke's Bay herself, Yvonne went on to become a reps coach in the early 1980s, coaching the Hawke's Bay Under 21s from 1983 until 1987.
Until last year she was also heavily involved in the Bay Hearts Netball Club.
Hawke's Bay Netball general manager Tina Arlidge said her knowledge was invaluable while the new organisation found its feet after the merger.
"She was regarded as the go-to person for netball in Napier.
"She knew so much because of her involvement for such a long time."
Having known her for close to 30 years, Arlidge described her as a passionate player who "always had her eyes on things".
"Yvonne has been involved in netball since 1959 in a variety of roles, player, representative coach, Napier netball president and administrator, highly involved in club netball.
"It was from playing in reps herself that she wanted to give back."
In 2014 she was made a lifetime member of Hawke's Bay Netball and in 2016, was recognised for her service to the sport.
"She knew the game and could read it. Her delivery was always in a calm manner."
Arlidge said she would miss their regular phone calls "about all things netball" or seeing her down on the courts.
She said there had been a huge outpouring from the hundreds of people who had known the netball stalwart.
"There would be so many people she touched through her time.
"It's a huge loss for the netball community and she will be greatly missed."
A celebration of Yvonne's life will be held at All Saints Church in Taradale at 1pm on Thursday.
In lieu of flowers, the family have said a donation to Dementia Hawke's Bay can be left at the service and would be appreciated.